ADVANCING LASER INDUCED BREAKDOWN SPECTROSCOPY FOR ELEMENTAL ANALYSIS OF MARINE SEDIMENT SAMPLES
Berlinda Batista1, Anna Michel2.
1Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA, 2Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA.
Decades ago, factories and textile mills surrounding New Bedford Harbor, Massachusetts dumped industrial waste into the water which, as of today, has resulted in sediments contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls and heavy metals. Over the years, many projects have been introduced in the hopes of cleaning the harbor. With this research, we focus on using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) as a technique for detecting heavy metals found in sediments samples taken from the harbor. This study used MATLAB to design a system to statistically analyze the elemental composition of the samples. With LIBS, we used a 30 mJ pulsed Nd:YAG laser to generated plasmas on the wet, dry, and slurry samples. Custom computer code was written to smooth the data in an attempt to display a clear pattern of peaks. The output is a plotted spectrum and a table of the elements found at specific wavelengths. The code focuses on distinguishing the highest peaks of the graphs which identifies elements found in the samples. With the modeled elements, we were able to quantify trends found in specific locations. Moreover, wet, dry, and slurry data are compared. The overall objective of our study is to advance the real time measurements of sediment samples in the field.